How do I regain access to a Linux user account within my Linode?

Linode Staff

I’d like to access my Linode with a user account that I created a while ago, but I can’t remember the username or password. Is there any way I can regain access to this user account?

1 Reply

You can absolutely regain access to Linux user accounts even if you don’t remember the username and password!

You’d first want to access your Linode via SSH or Lish as the root user. If you don’t remember your Linode’s root password, you can change it by following the steps in this guide:

Once you’re logged in as the root user, there are several ways to obtain a list of all user accounts on your system, many of which are listed in this resource:

As explained in the guide above, it's important to note that not every user account on your system is intended for normal user access. Some of these user accounts will be for programs that are installed on your Linode. Any user account that you've manually created should contain a UID (user identifier) between 1000 and 60000 (provided that you didn't specify a different UID upon creation or after it was created). With this information in mind, you can use the following command to obtain a list of names for each user account that you've manually created:

getent passwd {1000..60000}

Once you have the name of the user account that you want to use, you can reset its password by using the following command while logged in as the root user (replace "$user" with the name of the user account):

passwd $user

From there, you should be able to regain access to your desired Linux user account. :)

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